In 1962, tensions were high between the United States and the Soviet Union. The Soviet leader, Nikita Khrushchev, had been repeatedly threatening Western countries with nuclear destruction; in East Berlin the beginnings of the Berlin Wall were being constructed to prevent the migration of people to Western Berlin and the late-1961 Bay of Pigs Invasion had caused the Castro and the Cuban government to ally themselves with the USSR.
In mid-September of 1962 the Soviets began placing R-12 and R-14 intermediate-range ballistic missiles on Cuban soil in order to have more missiles targeted at the US and also as a bargaining chip to remove the Western powers from West Berlin. After numerous rumors and reports of large missiles on Cuban soil, the US authorized U-2 reconnaissance missions on October 8, and on October 14 photographic evidence of a large missile construction site was discovered in Western Cuba.
President Kennedy was shown the photographs the next day, and soon after the Joint Chiefs of Staff were encouraging a full-scale invasion of Cuba. President Kennedy thought this would lead to the Soviets attacking Berlin, and on October 19 decided on a lesser option - a blockade (or quarantine, as it was then called) of military equipment headed to Cuba.
On October 22nd, the day the blockade began, Kennedy addressed the American public about the missiles on Cuban soil and placed all American forces worldwide on DEFCON 3. Negotiations between Khrushchev and Kennedy began in secret on October 26, and after two tense days of negotiations, with several near-outbreaks of conflict across the world, the US and USSR came to an agreement. Khrushchev agreed to remove all missiles from Cuban soil, and Kennedy agreed to secretly remove missiles from Turkey.
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If being an infantryman isn't dangerous enough for you, maybe you would be more interested in serving in Special Forces. Read online about what it takes to join the Green Berets or become a Ranger by clicking the image.
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When you join the US Army, what are the various locations you could be stationed? Click the image to see how others have rated the installations and some knowledge online that may make your move there more enjoyable.
The US Armed Forces uses a phonetic alphabet to help when communicating. It will prove to make your life better than "OK." In fact, if you click the above image and memorize this system, you'll find life to be "Oscar Kilo."
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